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- Classic look
- Wide number of powertrains
- Plenty of body styles (wagon!)
- Great turbo-4 and 8-speed auto
- Gets expensive, almost unnecessarily
- Dated interior
- Spartan base model
- Competitors have caught up, or even passed the 3-Series
The 2018 BMW 3-Series makes its strongest case in performance for luxury compact buyers’ attentions.
These days BMW leaves no stone unturned, yet the 2018 BMW 3-Series is still its rock. The automaker seemingly makes a model for every imaginable mood, and the 3er’s starting to feel tired to us.
It earns a respectable 6.7 out of 10 on our overall scale. Its style, tech, and execution are outclassed by competitors from Mercedes and Audi, but BMW can still thrill with its performance possibilities. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
Not much changed for the 2018 3-Series. It’s still offered in a wide array of powertrain and body configurations, including a wagon, sedan, and tall-riding fastback, which BMW calls the 3-Series Gran Turismo. In the past, it’s been possible to shave two doors off the 3-Series, but BMW has cleaved those coupes into a different model range, called the 4-Series, that we cover separately.
A handful of package shuffles and new paint colors await shoppers for 2018, but largely this car hasn’t changed for a couple years. A new version of the 3-Series isn’t far off, which means that this version is fully baked.
If you’re looking for something—anything—with a BMW roundel, you might be tempted by the 320i’s lease price and teaser deals. Pick up a side hustle, we’d say, and opt instead for a 330i and its uprated turbo-4.
From there, a 340i turbo-6 awaits well-heeled shoppers who wouldn’t trust themselves with a M3 (don’t worry, we can’t trust ourselves either).
A diesel-powered 328d wagon is the white whale of the lineup; surely one of the last oil-burning wagons we’ll see for a generation or longer.
While base 2018 BMW 320i sedans start at a reasonable $35,895, including destination, don’t expect to see many on dealer lots at that price. BMW charges more for many conveniences that others throw in for free, including $300 for Apple CarPlay, provided you’ve already sprung for $2,000 in navigation. Yeesh.
The Car Connection Consumer Review
- Sedan 320i $34,900
- Sedan South Africa 320i $34,900
- Sedan 320i xDrive $36,900
- Sedan South Africa 320i xDrive $36,900
- Sedan 330i $40,250
- Sedan South Africa 330i $40,250
- Sedan 328d $41,750
- Sedan 330i xDrive $42,250
- Sedan South Africa 330i xDrive $42,250
- Sedan 328d xDrive $43,750
- Sports Wagon 330i xDrive $44,450
- Gran Turismo 330i xDrive $44,850
- Plug-In Hybrid 330e iPerformance $45,600
- Sports Wagon 328d xDrive $45,950
- Sedan 340i $48,950
- Sedan South Africa 340i $48,950
- Gran Turismo 340i xDrive $50,700
- Sedan 340i xDrive $50,950
- Sedan South Africa 340i xDrive $50,950